COVID-19, affordability, reconciliation among topics in Canada election debates

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Canada election: Which party has the most confident voters?
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Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, affordability and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples will be among the five topics discussed among the party leaders at Thursday’s English language debate for the federal election.

The Debate Broadcast Group said Monday that the two-hour debate will also cover leadership and accountability, as well as climate.

Each topic will include a question from a voter, a question from the moderator or a journalist to each leader, a more focused discussion featuring three of the five leaders, and an open debate with all five leaders.

On Sunday, the Debate Broadcast Group announced the topics of Wednesday’s French-language debate will be climate, cost of living and public finances, Indigenous peoples and cultural identity, justice and foreign policy, and health care and the COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday’s debate will use the same format as the English debate.

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The topics were chosen based in part on responses Canadians gave to a questionnaire that was published by the members of the Debate Broadcast Group: CBC News, APTN News, CTV News and Global News.

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The five leaders invited to participate — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet — will each be given a chance to speak during the debates, the group promised.

Click to play video: 'Canada election: Federal party leaders square off in 1st French-language debate'
Canada election: Federal party leaders square off in 1st French-language debate

Angus Reid Institute president Shachi Kurl is expected to moderate the English debate, alongside Global News’ Mercedes Stephenson, CBC News’ Rosemary Barton, Evan Solomon of CTV News and APTN News’ Melissa Ridgen.

Radio-Canada’s Patrice Roy is expected to moderate the French debate, with the assistance of Hélène Buzzetti of Les coops de l’information, Guillaume Bourgault-Côté of L’actualité, La Presse’s Paul Journet and Marie Vastel of Le Devoir.

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During the French-language debate, Noovo Info’s Noémi Mercier is also expected to moderate segments that include questions asked by Canadian citizens.

Both Wednesday’s French-language debate and Thursday’s English-language debate — featuring the same five leaders — will take place at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.

The debate on Wednesday begins at 8 p.m. ET, while Thursday’s will kick off at 9 p.m. ET.

Global News will provide live coverage of the English-language debate on the Global News site, on our National 24/7 news stream, on the Global TV app, on YouTube, and on Facebook.

The two-hour-long debates will also be translated simultaneously.

The English debate will be streamed in English, with further translation available in French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Punjabi, Plains Cree, Inuktitut, Dene, Tagalog, American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language at the debate commission’s website.

For the French-language debate, Global will be streaming live in French, as well as providing a separate English translation. Further translations will be available in East Cree, Ojibwe and described video, in addition to the languages noted above, with the exception of Plains Cree, Inuktitut and Dene, at the debate commission’s website.

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— with files from Global’s Emerald Bensadoun and Twinkle Ghosh

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